From: Kae Lewis
Subject: [Ferguson] 2nd Flt Lieut Ferguson UK
"This is the story of a lady named Dorothea Lewis who lives in Suffolk, UK."
"She was born on the 10th June 1918, at St Margaret's Hospital, Horsell,"
"Woking, the illegitimate daughter of Olive Lewis (1888 - 1946). After the"
"birth, Olive immediately put Dorothea out to a foster home and there was"
never any contact with her from then on. Olive paid board to the foster
mother all Dorothea's life and always sent her a gift at Christmas.
"Dorothea now has her birth certificate, and the space for 'name of father'"
is blank. She was never told his name. However all her life her father
forwarded payments to her grandmother anonymously via a Southampton
solicitor. She does not know the name of the solicitor. Dorothea's
grandmother (Mrs Louisa Lewis of Winchester) died when Dorothea was eight
years old. It is possible that payments continued to be sent from her
mother Olive but we are not sure about this.
"Several years ago, Dorothea wrote to the St Margaret's hospital in Woking"
"where she was born, to see if they had any remaining records. Woking County"
offices were able to pass on the name of the father as it was written in the
hospital records. Apparently Dorothea's hospital birth record still existed
"(although the hospital no longer does). In it, it stated: ""The father of"
the child: 2nd Flt. Lieut. Ferguson paid all expenses while Olive was at St
"As you can imagine, this was a very exciting revelation for Dorothea. Since"
receiving that letter she has been trying very hard to find a trace of him
"in the public record. On further enquiry, the St Margaret's record was"
unable to provide the first name or initials of 2nd Flt Lieut Ferguson.
This has proved to be a major stumbling block. The Commonwealth War Graves
Commission website lists 5 or 6 2nd Flt Lieut Fergusons killed in action
1918 and later. Most were Commonwealth pilots in the RAF or Royal Flying
Corp as they were called then. We have also have a listing of a dozen other
2nd Flt Lieut Fergusons who survived the war.
We are fairly certain that the mother Olive Lewis was a VAD nurse during WWI
and lived in Winchester with her parents. We have a photo of her in a VAD
uniform typical of WWI. The Red Cross have sent us a record for an Olive
Lewis who was in service from 1st May 1916 to 31st March 1919 at the Welsh
"Hospital, Netley, Hants. However we have no way of knowing if this is our"
"Olive or not. If it was, then she took time off to have her baby in June"
1918. The Red Cross did not record parents' names of nurses to help with
Dorothea would have been conceived in about Sept/Oct 1917 and so it seems
likely that our 2nd Flt Lieut Ferguson could have been a patient in this
Netley hospital at that time. I have been informed that if he had got one
"of the nurses pregnant, under the conventions of the time, it would have"
been compulsory for him to marry her. The fact that he did not probably
means he was already married. But we cannot be sure of that. Olive was
"aged 29 at the time, so was not young."
Olive became a bank clerk in Winchester and remained a spinster all her
"life. Dorothea thinks she became a bank clerk during the war, and the"
nursing was just a part-time venture. We do know that there was a Royal
"Flying Corp air station opened in 1917 at Worthy Downs, just north of"
Winchester. This would have been close enough for Olive to have met an
officer stationed there in Oct 1917 but we have not been able to locate
their personnel records for that year.
We had been told that our search for 2nd Lieut Ferguson should begin at Kew
PRO. However three separate very experienced searchers have now been
through their 1917 Royal Flying Corp records looking for him. All have said
"the same thing, there were so many officers in the RFC/RAF named Ferguson"
that it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is not helped by
the fact that the records are in disarray because the RFC split away from
the Army at about this time.
We are writing this story in the hope that someone with Ferguson relatives
"in Hampshire (or anywhere else) might recognise Dorothea's story, even"
although it does seems quite probably that 2nd Lieut Ferguson did not tell
his family about Dorothea. We are searching for a RFC officer who was still
"alive in Sept/ Oct 1917, who was in Hampshire in Sept/Oct 1917, possibly"
"wounded and in Netley hospital, who quite possibly came originally from"
"Southampton and who probably had his next of kin, a wife there. It is quite"
possible that he was put on a charge in 1917/1918 for getting a nurse
"pregnant, and this may appear in his personal RAF record. In fact we"
would be interested in hearing about any RFC/RAF officer by the name of
Ferguson from 1917/1918 who came from Hampshire. We are putting together a
list of them all in the hope of slowly eliminating some from the list as we
find out more about each one and his movements during 1917/1918. We would
love to hear from you if you have anything that could help with this jigsaw.
From: Kae Lewis
I am looking for information on the Ferguson family of 'The Firs', Sarisbury
near Southampton in Hampshire England circa 1910 - 1930. The father's name
was Alexander Ferguson, there were two sons:
Alexander Agar Ferguson b 22 Apr 1892
James Senior Agar Ferguson b 14 Dec 1890
I would be pleased to hear from anyone who may know this family. Kae Lewis
From: Kae Lewis
Subject: [Ferguson] Re: Hampshire England
I am still looking for the brothers Alexander Agar Ferguson born 22 April
1892 and James Senior Agar Ferguson born 14 Dec 1890, both of Hampshire,
England. Can anyone help me please. Kae Lewis